Sansho the Bailiff


Presented in 35mm

Friday, March 31 | 8 pm

Among the supreme achievements of director Kenji Mizoguchi’s late period, Sansho the Bailiff tells the harrowing story of two highborn children, Zushiō and Anju, who are sold into slavery in twelfth-century Japan after their idealistic father disobeys a feudal lord. This same act of conscience will eventually lead his wife (Ugestsu’s Kinuyo Tanaka) into a life of forced prostitution—a tragic misfortune she shares with many of the filmmaker’s heroines. Perhaps the most religiously Buddhist of Mizoguchi’s films, Sansho the Bailiff is also one of his most visually remarkable— distinguished by magisterial camera movements and seamless transitions that bridge gaps in space and time, lustrous black-and-white photography, and some of the most beautiful compositions in the history of the medium. Museum Films is very proud to screen this masterpiece of world cinema in its original 35mm format.

Director Kenji Mizoguchi 1954 Japan 124 minutes NR 35mm

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